Floyd County councilman calls for residents to share in $150 million sale of local hospital
What to do with $150 million -- that question is driving a big conversation in Floyd County with the sale of a hospital.
NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- What to do with $150 million -- that question is driving a big conversation in Floyd County with the sale of a hospital.
Floyd County Councilman Matt Oakley wants to give tax breaks with proceeds of the $150 million the county is expecting from its sale of Floyd Memorial Hospital.
He outlined the position with an online petition called Floyd Forward. Oakley is also calling for ways to merge city and county services, fund construction and create a 20-year plan for the remainder of the money.
"The county council members are elected to be stewards of the money," Oakley said. "So in my mind if you don't give back some of this money to the taxpayers, it's the same as taxing them.
Oakley is eyeing the county adjusted gross income tax and economic development income tax for reductions. If eliminated all together it would give $1.25 back to Floyd County workers for every $100 they earn.
Oakley says the change makes sense. Workers paying Floyd County Income tax like Ryan Marsh say every little bit helps.
"I would use it for traveling around to New York, where I do a lot of music production," Marsh said.
Another idea could generate a property tax rebate.
"Who would say no to a few hundred extra hundred bucks?" asked Floyd County resident Carol Esham. "That would be terrific."
But it's not a done deal yet.
"The taxpayers I talked to are not clamoring for a tax cut," said Floyd County Councilman Jim Wathan. "What they're clamoring for is for us to spend the money we have wisely and not give them a tax increase."
Oakley's idea doesn't even have support from council members in his own party. Some republicans are calling it "aggressive and premature."
"What I fear is we will start out spending this money, and once you open that Pandora's box, it'll be very hard to stop," Wathan said.
The ink is not dry on the hospital sale - it's still pending approval.
Copyright 2016 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.